Monday, February 13, 2012

When shallow thinkers create Facebook pages

Rhology said:
I would like to ask you a serious question. 
You make statements about morality, saying "this is morally reprehensible", or the equivalent thereof.

How do you know what is morally right and wrong? Just a hint for what will come in the future, I will be asking you "how do you know?", "why?" and "so what?" an awful lot, so bear that in mind as you prepare your answer.

Here is a quick primer with some helpful links that I wrote a little while ago to help you sharpen your answers.
http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2008/07/quick-summation.html

Thanks!




    • Pro-Discussion Who is making those statements?


    • Rhology You. You said it was morally wrong to compare abortion to the Holocaust. If you didn't, please let me know; I must have misunderstood.


    • Pro-Discussion I don't think I used the phrase "morally" wrong. I don't like vague terms like that.


    • Pro-Discussion But how would you feel if both of your parents were murdered, someone got ahold of the crime scene photos, and suddenly a bunch of protestors decided to make posters/fliers/billboards with pictures of your bloody dead parents to push their beliefs? Would it really matter how "right" those beliefs are? Wouldn't you be extremely turned off by them no matter how "good" of a cause they stand for?


    • Sam Winchest To me its morally wrong to compare abortion to the holocaust because my family went through those camps, most of my nonna(grandma's) side of the family was either hiding, in the camps about to be killed or used as slave labor. Including my grandma who was just a little girl at the time.


    • Pro-Discussion 
      yes, same here. people like Rhology think it's perfectly acceptable to get people's attention this way and it will never, ever be acceptable. how can you expect us to respect the pre-born more when you can't respect the lost lives of people who had families, memories, dreams, hopes, stories, wishes? and the ancestors that are still around? seems like you're fighting fire with flame-throwers and gets the complete opposite of sympathy accomplished.



    • Rhology I might feel bad, emotionally hurt. Is that a bad thing? How do you know?
      Why won't it be acceptable? It's acceptable to ME. Why should others accept your definition of acceptable and not mine? Is there a way to know which is correct? If not, so what? If so, what is it and how do you know?



    • Pro-Discussion If you just admitted that something is emotionally hurtful to a person and demand an explanation for why that's a bad thing, I don't think I can offer much more to this conversation.
      Why isn't it acceptable? See everything I said in my last post after the second time I used the word "acceptable". Read it several times if you have to.



    • Morgan Catesby Yeah man, but like... what is "is"? Is it like... real? Are we real, man? Is real real?

      Shit bro stop sitting on that joint, pass it here already.




    • Rhology 
      I'm going to ask you again. You obviously FEEL that hurting someone emotionally is bad, but you haven't DEMONSTRATED that it is.


      I'm asking you how you know it's bad to hurt someone emotionally.


      See, I can answer the question very, very easily. I look to the revelation of the all-good all-powerful God of the universe, who has told me it's wrong to do certain things (like rape people or dismember children in the womb). I can know with certainty those are wrong.

      Let's take rape. How do you KNOW it's wrong. Don't tell me you wouldn't like it. You may not like broccoli, but that doesn't make broccoli bad, does it? Tell me why it's wrong.



    • Morgan Catesby Hey guys did you know atheists can't have morals?!

      I'm 12 and just thought of this all by myself. Look how clever I am.



    • Morgan Catesby Rhology, I read in a book once that it was wrong not to punch you in the face. So I know with certainty that it is right to punch you in the face.


    • Pro-Discussion 
      Rhology, please demonstrate how you KNOW god exists and you happen to know EXACTLY what he/she/it wants based on a piece of poorly-translated centuries-old literature. I could tell you that I know rape is wrong because a wise old talking elephant told me. You would not be able to prove to me that I'm lying, nor discredit this handsome talking elephant.

      Since you're seemingly going for an argument that your god is the only correct barometer for feelings like "right", "wrong", "moral", etc. - I will need a report of why it is always a better idea.

      Why is your knowledge of the wrong-ness of rape better because "gold told you"? Did he really have to? Is that one such a toughie to realize without question?




    • Rhology 
      ‎--"did you know atheists can't have morals?!"--


      Pretty clear Morgan isn't taking this seriously. I've never said anything of the sort. One wishes Morgan would have read something I suggested.
      What I say, rather, is that atheists' morals are purely arbitrary and have only imaginary authority. They are not normative in any way. They are merely constructs that humans build to foist upon other humans (ie, cram down others' throats), but the 'right'-ness of them always comes down to might makes right, who has the power to enforce their preferences on others.

      --" I read in a book once that it was wrong not to punch you in the face. So I know with certainty that it is right to punch you in the face."--

      What is that book's claim to moral authority? Is it the written revelation of the God of the universe?



    • Rhology 
      ‎--"please demonstrate how you KNOW god exists"--


      You're still not getting it.
      If God doesn't exist, my questions to you stand as stated, and thus unless you answer them, everyone is justified in ignoring any moral statement that anyone makes.
      You can complain about someone comparing abortion to the Holocaust. Everyone will be 100% justified in shrugging, 'so what'?
      You can go out and rape 100 people. Everyone will be 100% justified in shrugging, 'so what'?

      So, don't change the subject. Answer my questions.

      If you really want to know whether God exists, go to my blog.www.rhoblogy.blogspot.com You'll see on the sidebar "Some good arguments for theism". Go thru them.

      --" poorly-translated centuries-old literature"

      Poorly translated? You don't even know what you're talking about. Substantiate this comment. What is your evidence?

      --"Why is your knowledge of the wrong-ness of rape better because "gold told you"?"

      That's an odd way to frame the question. I can't answer that.
      Here is what I think you're getting at, though. If God, the Creator of the very universe and all of mankind, who is pure and holy, tells us something on His own authority, makes a law, and warns that breaking that law will lead inexorably to eternal and difficult punishment, we must listen.
      Here's more on that: http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2007/11/contrasting-atheistic-preferences-and.html

      --" Is that one such a toughie to realize without question?"--

      We'll have to see. Answer my questions and we'll find out.




    • Pro-Discussion 
      ‎"atheists' morals are purely arbitrary and have only imaginary authority."


      i feel very sorry for you if you believe that.


      why is one's own convictions, one's own person, considered more "imaginary" than "god"?

      I have answered your questions - I know (with or without a voice/scripture telling me so) that rape is bad. Not because "I don't like it" (you know, like broccoli... (???)) but because I'm lucky/smart/blessed/awake enough to JUST KNOW.

      Perhaps your god whispered it to me in my sleep one night. I can't be sure.

      Does the almighty word of your lord have to tell you everything before you know it to be true in your heart? If you were born in a nation somewhere that had never heard the gospel or any scriptures, what kind of person do you think you'd be?



    • Rhology 
      ‎--"i feel very sorry for you if you believe that."--


      So prove me wrong. Give me a reason to think that the morals of ANYONE, in a universe where there is no God, are not arbitrary.


      --"why is one's own convictions, one's own person, considered more "imaginary" than "god"? "--

      Did I say they were imaginary? No, I said their AUTHORITY is imaginary. Why SHOULD anyone do what YOU think is right/acceptable?

      --"but because I'm lucky/smart/blessed/awake enough to JUST KNOW. "--

      Ah, well, you know what? Joe Doe knows (with or without a voice/scripture telling him so) that rape is obligatory. Not because "he likes it" (you know, like broccoli... (???)), and not that it's morally PERMISSIBLE, but because he's lucky/smart/blessed/awake enough to JUST KNOW that it's OBLIGATORY.
      Please prove Joe wrong, acting as if your worldview is correct.
      I can easily do so, acting as if my worldview is correct. Can you?

      --"Perhaps your god whispered it to me in my sleep one night. I can't be sure. "--

      Not if God doesn't exist. So please answer the question out of your own understanding.

      --"Does the almighty word of your lord have to tell you everything before you know it to be true in your heart?"--

      (Talking about MY worldview now.) No, but I can't CONFIRM anything without some support outside of me, and the ultimate authority for morality and rationality is God Himself.

      --" If you were born in a nation somewhere that had never heard the gospel or any scriptures, what kind of person do you think you'd be?"--

      A sinner, just like I am today. What's the point of this? If you'd grown up in a tribe that greatly valued childbirth and childrearing, maybe you'd be speared to death already for your pro-choice stance. So what?



    • Pro-Discussion If after all the communication I thought we were engaging in for the last several days, you still accuse me of having a "pro-choice stance" then why should I keep answering questions if you're clearly not listening to anything I've posted?


    • Rhology ‎"Anything"?
      Please excuse the fact that I've confused your continual opposition to abolitionism with being "pro-choice". Go ahead and educate me succinctly as to what your position is.
      And I don't think I've ignored EVERYthing you've said. I've been very specific on this thread.
      Also, why aren't you answering any of my questions?



    • Pro-Discussion 
      I cannot answer your questions about why/how I know something is wrong other than a simple "I just know it is", which you feel is arbitrary in comparison to being told by god. I understand that. You have every right to see my personal moralcompass as invalid if you wish.

      Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that I am 100% pro-life. Why should I not dare to speak up if my feelings are simply "excuse me, I'd like to save the unborn too, but maybe your methods of holocaust exploiting/slavery comparisons/preaching against birth control/etc. are doing a bit more harm for your cause than good?" ?

      I can't back this up with proof (aside from Canada having both the lowest abortion rates AND a no-shame culture), it's just a feeling. Every single pro-choicer I've met is simply turned off by the pro-life movement because of their tactics of spreading the message more than the message itself.



    • Rhology 
      OK, then Joe Doe thinks rape is obligatory. Ask him why and he'll tell you: I cannot answer your questions about why/how I know something is right other than a simple "I just know it is".


      Fair enough, right? It sounds like your position results in a completely relative morass. Why do you bother making moral statements at all? Should we all just bow to your moral intuitions?

      --"Why should I not dare to speak up if my feelings are simply "excuse me, I'd like to save the unborn too, but maybe your methods of holocaust exploiting/slavery comparisons/preaching against birth control/etc. are doing a bit more harm for your cause than good?" ? "--

      For starters, you're not pro-life.
      Secondly, because you can't define harm or good, as we've seen, outside of "I just know". But I "just know" that our methods are awesome. Why should I change my mind?

      --"I can't back this up with proof (aside from Canada having both the lowest abortion rates AND a no-shame culture), it's just a feeling."--

      You say you can't back it up and then you lamely throw in an attempt to prove your position true.
      Just b/c canada has a low abortion rate doesn't help you. There are many, many factors involved in people getting abortions. Where is your detailed study proving that the factor you think is the central influence is in fact the central influence?

      --"Every single pro-choicer I've met is simply turned off by the pro-life movement because of their tactics of spreading the message more than the message itself."--

      Wow! You must know, what? Literally DOZENS of them!
      Sorry, dozens is not statistically significant.

      So... in essence, we've seen you have nothing.
      Unless you give me some reason to think your position is true, why should anyone listen to you?



    • Pro-Discussion 
      Here's the beauty of that last question (that hopefully also answers all prior) - NOBODY should listen to me! I'm just a 27-year-old wannabe-comedian/writer from Chicago with an outlook on this subject that is neither fiercely standing up for one side or the other. Do you think I enjoy having both my pro-life and pro-choice friends think I'm some sort of fence-sitting gutless traitor? It's not entirely fun. I'm only doing this (running the page) for people who are interested in educating each other without belittling, as I've said many times.

      As for Joe Doe, he sounds like a real jerk! Thankfully we live in a country that will lock him up for his crimes. I really do enjoy talking with you, Rhology, even when it seems like you're getting borderline sarcastic or pissed off at me.



    • Rhology 
      ‎--"NOBODY should listen to me!"--


      OK, sounds good. Thanks.
      I warn you - the next time you show up anywhere where I hang out and try to make a moral statement, I'm going to remind you you said this, and I'm going to preserve it on my blog.

      Here's the answer to your conundrum. God has spoken, and clearly. Nobody should listen to ME either, except insofar as I repeat and reflect the truth, reason, and righteousness of Jesus Christ. When I accurately repeat and reflect what He has said, every person on Earth is obligated to listen and obey 100%, because He is the maker, the creator. He is the fundamental and necessary moral foundation.
      His message is: Repent and believe, obey and be baptised. Your sins will be fully forgiven, you will have eternal life, your irrationality will be replaced with truth and reason, and your foolish worldview will be replaced with the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

      I urge you not to wait, not to delay. Today is the day of salvation. You don't know whether you'll live another minute. Take hold of Christ. Beg Him to save you, and He will.

      Or don't, and stand condemned and openly foolish as someone who makes moral statements and then, when pressed, says "NOBODY should listen to me!"



    • Pro-Discussion ‎^ you heard him folks, choose wisely!

      What I was saying (if you're going to give me the honor of a blog quote, be sure to know the context) is that I am no authority. I speak from the pain and suffering I've seen of rape victims, of my gradmother's holocaust memories, of those who have loved and lost. Life itself has been my witness of what is "right", "wrong", "awful", "beautiful", "smelly", etc.



    • Rhology And if Joe Doe can say the same thing about his pro-rape view, how do we know which of you is correct?

Obviously, the money quote here is "NOBODY should listen to me!"
If only all atheists were as naively guileless.

106 comments:

NAL said...

Your blog is only showing one post, the facebook post.

NAL said...

Rho:

1) God is the ultimate good, the definition of good.

And why should accept your, or any human's definition?

1) God is the ultimate evil, the definition of evil.

This definitional morality is easy.

Rhology said...

Your blog is only showing one post, the facebook post.

It looks OK to me.
Well, do you see all the FB thread? That's all I put in there.


You shouldn't accept my definition. Accept God's.

NAL said...

I see the entire FB post. I guess it was so long it bumped older posts off the home page.

NAL said...

Rho:

Accept God's.

How do I know that God isn't deceiving me?

bossmanham said...

How do I know that God isn't deceiving me?

Look into the definition of God there, guy.

NAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NAL said...

You "know" by "definition"?

Interesting epistemology.

Your morality is by definition and your knowledge is by definition. Sure saves a lot of thinking.

bossmanham said...

You "know" by "definition"?

Interesting epistemology.


Yeah, you know things by how something is defined. You know that a triangle has three sides and angles due to its definition.

You can infer about God that He wouldn't deceive you in light of being the greatest conceivable being. Such a being, as morally perfect, would not viciously lie to those He loves.

Your morality is by definition and your knowledge is by definition. Sure saves a lot of thinking.

Awfully sanctimonious for someone who never makes a point.

NAL said...

bmh:

You can infer about God that He wouldn't deceive you in light of being the greatest conceivable being.

God is a being who's been conceived. On that we agree.

in order to determine what constitutes "greatest," you rely on your own subjective judgements.

If God is the definition of good, then it is circular reasoning to use good (or great) to define God.

Knowledge is more than knowing the definition.

bossmanham said...

God is a being who's been conceived. On that we agree.

So are you.

in order to determine what constitutes "greatest," you rely on your own subjective judgements.

Meh. No you don't. Greatest good would be all good, no lack of goodness. To the highest degree. There's no subjective judgment about that in the least. Concepts have words they are associated with. God happens to be a certain concept. You inferring that God could lie brings us outside of the scope of that concept. Ergo, you're committing the fallacy of red herring...again. Nice try though.

If God is the definition of good, then it is circular reasoning to use good (or great) to define God.

Lol. It's circular to define something by the definition? You realize how dumb you sound right now, right?

It's not circular to infer something about something by using the definition provided at all. It's an inference. From the definition of a triangle, one can infer that its angles will add up to 180 degrees. You don't have to measure any triangle's angles at all.

But we've all learned that thinking isn't your strong point, gnu atheist NAL.

NAL said...

bmh:

It's not circular to infer something about something by using the definition provided at all. It's an inference.

Where did you infer that God was "greatest conceivable being?" All I see is the naked assertion.

From the definition of a triangle, one can infer that its angles will add up to 180 degrees.

In some cases that inference would be incorrect.

NAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

Where did you infer that God was "greatest conceivable being?" All I see is the naked assertion.

Where did mathematicians get that a three sided figure is a triangle?

It's a word applied to a concept. It just so happens that God revealed Himself to us, but I digress.

In some cases that inference would be incorrect.

Well I'm no mathematician, but I'm sure my geometry teachers would love to hear that. Not that it's relevant anyway.

NAL said...

bmh:

Where did mathematicians get that a three sided figure is a triangle?

They defined it that way.

Well I'm no mathematician, but I'm sure my geometry teachers would love to hear that.

Maybe you need better geometry teachers:

Triangles in Curved Space

This means that the triangle we created had angles that summed to 270 degrees instead of 180 degrees.

bossmanham said...

They defined it that way.

No they didn't. They applied a word to an existing concept. Triangles existed before the word did.

Maybe you need better geometry teachers:

Triangles in Curved Space


Sigh. If you were less dishonest, you'd be able to see the important qualification we're dealing with. A curved triangle is not a triangle proper. Good grief, you gnu atheists must take graduate level courses in troll-ology.

NAL said...

bmh:

They applied a word to an existing concept.

That's how a definition works. That's what it means to define a word. The definition is the concept expressed in words.

You have expressed the concept of the "greatest conceivable being." You apply the word God to this concept. God is the "greatest conceivable being," by definition.

A curved triangle is not a triangle proper.

I was just going by your definition.

NAL said...

The concept of "greatest conceivable being" presupposes the concept of "good." The definition of "good" is God. Therefore, the concept of "greatest conceivable being" presupposes the concept of God.

bossmanham said...

That's how a definition works. That's what it means to define a word. The definition is the concept expressed in words.

You have expressed the concept of the "greatest conceivable being." You apply the word God to this concept. God is the "greatest conceivable being," by definition.


Yup. Thanks for agreeing. Now we can put your silly red herring to sleep.

The concept of "greatest conceivable being" presupposes the concept of "good." The definition of "good" is God. Therefore, the concept of "greatest conceivable being" presupposes the concept of God.

But you don't need one to identify the other. And the definition of "good" is God's character. You have to have God for it actually to exist, but a concept can be conceived of and the thing not actually exist.

Good is not identical to God, rather good is derived from God. Ergo your attempt at painting some weird circularity fails. Not only that, but it's not a logical issue at all for two things to depend on each other to exist.

The concept of "math" presupposes the concept of "numbers." The definition of "math" includes numbers. Therefore, the concept of "math" presupposes the concept of numbers.

In fact your silly objection would undo any sort of logical inferrence from concepts.

Try again, gnu atheist.

Damion said...

Greatest good would be all good, no lack of goodness

And the definition of "good" is God's character.

Then "God is good" must mean merely that He acts in accordance with His own character. Seems like you'd need to stipulate something more here in order to be able to meaningfully praise God for being good, since anyone can act according to their own character.

bossmanham said...

pretty silly. If that's the case, then very little is praiseworthy.

However, people who develop good character are considered praiseworthy because of what kind of a person they are. God doesn't develop His character, He is who He is eternally, but that doesn't change the fact that simply WHO He is as creator and ruler of the universe doesn't deserve praise. In fact, the perfectly good Being is the only one truly worthy of worship.

Another gnu atheist fail.

sanscredo said...

I've defined "Thornblat" to be the being with the most "rutapex" that I can possibly conceive. What's "rutapex"? It is the character of "Thornblat". Is it possible to develop a definition of "rutapex" that is independent of "Thornblat"? No.

Now tell me. What does "rutapex" have to do with rape or lying? Nothing? Well then with your definition of "good", what does "good" have to do with rape or lying?

If I say that rape is not rutapex because it's not part of Thornblat's character, does that help you decide whether you should rape or not?

You try to get out of your circular definition of "good" by sneaking in its subjective meaning. You bring a previous understanding of "good" to the table, so that "God is good" is more meaningful than "Thornblat is rutapex". But then, if you bring a definition of "good" to the table, then it must mean something independent of God. When you recognize that this is what you're doing, you will understand what atheists means when they say something is good.

Rhology said...

What does "rutapex" have to do with rape or lying? Nothing? Well then with your definition of "good", what does "good" have to do with rape or lying?

What if Thornblat were the ultimate standard of goodness and were wrathful against sin and sinners? Then things change.
Unfortunately, you're also a Christian if you believe in Thornblat, but I'd recommend you call Him "Jesus". He really prefers that.

Were you thinking you'd be introducing a substantive thought here?

sanscredo said...

What if Thornblat were the ultimate standard of goodness and were wrathful against sin and sinners? Then things change.

You make my point very well. When you bring all of the baggage of the word "good" with you, "God is good" means something. When you define "good" as God's character, you might as well call it "rutapex". It means nothing.

Rhology said...

Or it means something. We know quite a lot about God, and we also need to know the nature of goodness, which He has also communicated.

I don't know what you mean.

sanscredo said...

If I understand you and bossmanham correctly, then the following definitions:

D1) God: the being that is maximally good
D2) Good: consistent with God's nature

are sufficient for us to derive conclusions such as:
C1) God would not lie to us; and
C2) God is worthy of praise

Is that correct? If I misunderstand you, just tell me and I'll go away.

If I understand you correctly, then because the definition above is circular, I can see three ways to interpret what's going on.

In the first interpretation, "good" and "God" are simply free variables. In that case, we can do variable substitution and get:

C3a) There is a being that is maximally consistent with its own nature

But this tells us nothing about what that nature is or why we should care. Therefore, we can't arrive at (C1) or (C2) by this information alone.

In the second interpretation, "good" is not a free variable. Instead, it is a word that is assigned meaning apart from definitions (D1) and (D2). We must bring that additional information to bear to comprehend what is going on. For example, we could add facts such as:

F1a) Lying is not good; and
F2a) Good things deserve praise

If we do this, then we can get the conclusions you want to derive. However, it requires the addition of facts that you are in no better position to defend than an atheist. And therefore, you can't criticize the atheist for making the same assumptions you are required to make.

In the third interpretation, "good" is still a variable, but there are additional facts about "God" that are brought to bear, such as:

F1b) Lying is not in God's nature; or
F2b) We should care about what God thinks

And that's fine, but then you should expect atheists to ask you to support these facts with evidence. Our conversation should involve us discussing whether your evidence for these claims is sufficient or not. Instead, though, it seems that you want use an ontological argument to avoid the need for supporting anything. And so I'm trying to demonstrate as clearly as I can why that approach doesn't work.

bossmanham said...

One can rely on a moral sense. I have no more reason to doubt my moral sense than I do my physical senses. My physical sense tells me that there's a computer screen in front of me and my fingers are touching a keyboard. My moral sense tells me that lying is inconsistent with absolute goodness. It's not a problem to know that God is absolute goodness and use another epistemological avenue to figure out what corresponds with that. Otherwise math and science would be useless because you have to assume certain things are true about them for them to work.

Of course, I view intuition as a fine epistemological starting point for a lot of things. Otherwise you don't get beyond solipsism.

bossmanham said...

but then you should expect atheists to ask you to support these facts with evidence.

But I just gave a reductio ad absurdum above that shows this objection isn't worth a hill of beans. Don't fret, dear friend, we're not scared of your questions.

Stephen B said...

Bossmanham: "My moral sense tells me that lying is inconsistent with absolute goodness"

And other people's moral sense might tell them that it isn't, or that slavery is fine, or any number of things you disagree with. This doesn't help your argument.

sanscredo has outlined fairly succinctly why your argument for 'Good being good' is circular, and this is an answered problem for anyone who claims atheists can't explain morality. Unless I missed it elsewhere, your 'reductio ad absurdem' appears to be simply that you KNOW what is inconsistent with moral goodness because you FEEL certain things to be 'bad'. This is just question begging.

- Stephen B

Stephen B said...

I read through the whole of the link you started the blog with. No 'slam dunk' from you there. And no explanation for how the existence of a God makes morality 'objective' or how you avoid the problem of Euthryphro Dilemma. The standard 'God's nature is a third option' response is just one of the first two options reworded, and is thus equally vulnerable to the same dilemma question.

sanscredo said...

bossmanham,

but then you should expect atheists to ask you to support these facts with evidence.

But I just gave a reductio ad absurdum above that shows this objection isn't worth a hill of beans.

You're mixing up interpretations 2 and 3. You've provided a reductio ad absurdism for door #2: the interpretation in which you bring your own "moral sense" to bear on what "good" means. Your justification is that without such assumptions, then we're stuck with solipsism. In that case, the next time an atheist says "rape is wrong" and you ask "well, how do you *know* that?", the answer is that the atheist used his moral sense. You seem to think that that solves the epistemological problem. Personally, I find that answer highly unsatisfying.

Behind door #3 is the interpretation that we bring in knowledge of God beyond his definition as goodness. It is for this interpretation that I asked for evidence. And for this argument, you have provided no reductio. Instead you responded with more of a "bring it on" machismo:

Don't fret, dear friend, we're not scared of your questions.

That's great to hear. To avoid these diversions in the future, you should avoid saying things like:

Look into the definition of God there, guy.

because it's clear that definitions alone don't support the knowledge of what God would or would not do. You must defend your claims about whether or not God would lie, for example, by doing things like: supporting the idea of a "moral sense" or providing evidence for the divinity of the Bible. Definitions alone just don't cut it.

Stephen B said...

No response on this at all? Come on!

By the way, the title of this thread strikes me as hubris. Just because someone disagrees with you it doesn't automatically follow they are a shallow thinker. If anything is shallow thinking it's saying "Atheists can't justify morality", as if a God would make any difference to whatever assumptions one has to make before one starts talking about morality.

"How do you know what is morally right and wrong? Just a hint for what will come in the future, I will be asking you "how do you know?", "why?" and "so what?" an awful lot, so bear that in mind as you prepare your answer."

Quite, and these questions equally apply to any theist making the same claims to knowing what is morally right and wrong. Bear that in mind yourself.

Rhology said...

no explanation for how the existence of a God makes morality 'objective

Here.


how you avoid the problem of Euthryphro Dilemma

I take one of the horns - things are good b/c God says they're good, and what He says is good is good b/c it's consistent with His nature.



The standard 'God's nature is a third option' response is just one of the first two options reworded, and is thus equally vulnerable to the same dilemma question.

Which is why I take the first horn of the non-dilemma.



the title of this thread strikes me as hubris.

Give me a reason to think hubris is morally reprehensible.



Just because someone disagrees with you it doesn't automatically follow they are a shallow thinker.

True, but I didn't say that, did I?
I claimed, and demonstrated, that Pro-Discussion is a shallow thinker.



If anything is shallow thinking it's saying "Atheists can't justify morality", as if a God would make any difference to whatever assumptions one has to make before one starts talking about morality.

That remains to be proven by you.



Quite, and these questions equally apply to any theist making the same claims to knowing what is morally right and wrong. Bear that in mind yourself.

That doesn't bother me at all.
The buck stops at God. For the atheist, the buck stops in mid-void.

Stephen B said...

"The buck stops with God"

Who says? We can keep asking "how do you know?", "why?" and "so what?", just like you can.

"and what He says is good is good b/c it's consistent with His nature."

So what? Why does 'consistent with his nature' = good? You're begging the question. All you've claimed is that God has a nature. What makes that nature good? You're no further forward.

Rhology said...

Who says?

God says.



We can keep asking "how do you know?", "why?" and "so what?", just like you can.

Good for you.


Why does 'consistent with his nature' = good?

B/c He said so.


You're begging the question.

All appeals to a fundamental axiom do in some sense. You need to ask yourself the same questions now, and also show why I'm unjustified in answering the way I'm answering. Don't just say "I don't like it, ergo it's not true".


God has a nature. What makes that nature good?

It is so by definition.

Stephen B said...

Sorry, "He says" is no more an answer than 'It just is'.

"Don't just say "I don't like it, ergo it's not true"."

Then don't just say "I like it, ergo it IS true".

"It is so by definition."

If you're going to simply define things into being so then you can't object to atheists doing the same by simply defining 'morally wrong' to include an objective nature.

Rhology said...

Sorry, "He says" is no more an answer than 'It just is'.

Argue for this contention; don't merely assert it.


If you're going to simply define things into being

Fortunately, I'm not doing so. God is.


so then you can't object to atheists doing the same by simply defining 'morally wrong' to include an objective nature.

Atheists aren't God.
Atheists need to give an argument for doing so.

Stephen B said...

Aren't you claiming to make a logical argument? "It's good because God says it is" is just a 'might is right' argument. "God has the authority because He says he has" is a circular argument. And your 'True to his nature' line begs the question.

That's quite a lot of logical fallacies.

"That doesn't bother me at all"

Fine. Your questions don't bother me at all either! As long as you're not claiming the atheist's position is any less tenable than your own!

Me: "as if a God would make any difference to whatever assumptions one has to make before one starts talking about morality"

You: "That remains to be proven by you"

No - it's YOUR claim that a God would make a difference to the assumptions, so the burden of proof rests on YOU.

"we also need to know the nature of goodness, which He has also communicated"

Even if you could a) prove a God's existence and b) demonstrate that he'd communicated his nature to us, that says nothing about moral imperatives - just that the deity has a nature.

You might be able to argue that it is in our interest to obey an all-powerful being's nature to avoid punishment, but that says nothing about rightness or wrongness, any more than obeying a ruler's laws to avoid jail says anything about the justness of his laws.

Stephen B said...

"Atheists aren't God"

Neither are you, and you're the one offering the definition!

But even if your God appeared before us and said "I'm defining my nature as 'good'", it still would have no greater meaning, as sanscredo pointed out, than if he defined it as 'rutapex'. It would still beg the question of what that actually meant, and why it should carry imperatives for us, and it would still just be a circular argument of 'Good = God's nature; God's nature = good".

You replied what if the God "were the ultimate standard of goodness and were wrathful against sin and sinners?"

Sanscredo pointed out this is just begging the question of what 'goodness' is. And the 'wrathful' part has nothing to do with goodness either. A leader's 'wrath' or punishments against his subjects says nothing about right or wrong, just the power of the leader.

Rhology said...

Aren't you claiming to make a logical argument? "It's good because God says it is" is just a 'might is right' argument

1) That's only part of it. It's also definitional. God is the CREATOR, too. Not just the power. He set the universe up.
2) In some way, however, morality boils down to authority claims, and authority means might.


And your 'True to his nature' line begs the question.

I could've sworn I already addressed that.



As long as you're not claiming the atheist's position is any less tenable than your own!

Whenever you feel like substantiating that, go for it.



Me: "as if a God would make any difference to whatever assumptions one has to make before one starts talking about morality"

You: "That remains to be proven by you"

No - it's YOUR claim that a God would make a difference to the assumptions, so the burden of proof rests on YOU.


I don't know what "make a difference to the assumptions" means.



that says nothing about moral imperatives - just that the deity has a nature.

Unless He revealed the moral imperatives.
Oh, hey, like in the Bible or something!



You might be able to argue that it is in our interest to obey an all-powerful being's nature to avoid punishment, but that says nothing about rightness or wrongness, any more than obeying a ruler's laws to avoid jail says anything about the justness of his laws.

Thankfully, that's not the claim.



"Atheists aren't God"

Neither are you, and you're the one offering the definition!


Thankfully, I didn't claim to be God. Are you even trying to address the argument?



But even if your God appeared before us and said "I'm defining my nature as 'good'", it still would have no greater meaning, as sanscredo pointed out, than if he defined it as 'rutapex'

rutapex means nothing.
Good means something, and something pretty wide but also quite specific. What does rutapex have to do with moral imperatives?



You replied what if the God "were the ultimate standard of goodness and were wrathful against sin and sinners?"

Sanscredo pointed out this is just begging the question of what 'goodness' is.


Already addressed.

Stephen B said...

"God is the CREATOR, too. Not just the power. He set the universe up"

You said good comes from his nature, not the universe. Are you saying he created his own nature?

"I could've sworn I already addressed that"

And I couldn't sworn I already addressed your response.

"Unless He revealed the moral imperatives.
Oh, hey, like in the Bible or something!"

In your haste to score points with sarcasm you misunderstand. I wasn't asking how one would know what particular morals one should obey (as revealed in a holy book). Rather, I was questioning how you get from 'God has a nature' to 'this nature sets moral imperatives'; how you get from the 'is' of his nature to 'oughts' of our behaviour. We're talking meta-ethics, right?

"Thankfully, I didn't claim to be God."
Thankfully, neither did atheists... but you felt it a point worth making. You offered it as an answer to me saying that if you're going to just define objective morality into being by defining your God as being objectively good, then atheists can come up with similar definitions of goodness.

Your reply that atheists aren't God is a non sequitur, and doesn't address my point. Either YOU are doing the defining - and you aren't God either - or God is doing the defining, which is a circular argument.

"Good means something"

What does it mean here then? In the context you're using it in, it apparently just means God's nature. Again, you've not argued that moral imperatives flow logically from your God's nature.

Is it a rule that 'God created the universe' means "God must be moral'? If so, did God create that rule, or is it some 'axiomatic rule' that exists outside of God? If the former, then you've got another circular argument. If the latter, then you have to allow atheists access to the same 'axiomatic rules'.

merkur said...

"... morality boils down to authority claims, and authority means might."

Right there, folks. Right there.

Rhology said...

Refreshed by some time off and receptive of some extra motivation from Stephen B/Andrew Ryan saying I left the convo, I figure I'll get back into it.

"God is the CREATOR, too. Not just the power. He set the universe up"

You said good comes from his nature, not the universe. Are you saying he created his own nature?


No, I am not saying that. Why would you ask this question?


I was questioning how you get from 'God has a nature' to 'this nature sets moral imperatives'

The nature didn't set moral imperatives. God did. Natures don't do anything. Persons do.
God communicated the imperatives, which are in accord with His nature and character.


how you get from the 'is' of his nature to 'oughts' of our behaviour. We're talking meta-ethics, right?

B/c, as I said earlier, the ought-ness is by virtue of God's authority and character. Doing what He says we ought to do is necessarily good.



You offered it as an answer to me saying that if you're going to just define objective morality into being by defining your God as being objectively good, then atheists can come up with similar definitions of goodness.

You'd said:
so then you can't object to atheists doing the same by simply defining 'morally wrong' to include an objective nature...

And just as you get to question me about my source of objective goodness, I get to question you.
So, what is its origin? What is its nature? How do you know about it? How do you know it's objectively good?



God is doing the defining, which is a circular argument.

It's not circular to correctly identify the source of morality. If I said "morality is morality", that would be circular. I didn't say that, though.


"Good means something"

What does it mean here then? In the context you're using it in, it apparently just means God's nature.


No, it means that which is in accord with God's nature and character.


you've not argued that moral imperatives flow logically from your God's nature.

God has commanded stuff, and what He says is always good.
We are obligated to follow His commands b/c He said so.



Is it a rule that 'God created the universe' means "God must be moral'?

No.

Stephen B said...

If it's not a rule, what is it?

I can't copy and paste on this iPod, but your explanation for how logical imperatives flow logically strikes me as begging the question. 'What he says is always good'. You assert this, but that is what you're meant to be demonstrating. What does 'good' mean in this context? In accord with God's nature... Why is it good simply because it's in accord with God's nature?

Parsing the sentence, we get "What he says is always in accordance with his nature". I'm still not getting any moral imperatives from that.

You also cite God's authority. Where is this authority coming from apart from simple power or 'might makes right'? Saying that He grants Himself the authority isn't really enough.

Rhology said...

The statement "'God created the universe' means 'God must be moral'" is itself flawed. God must be moral b/c He is like that. He must be consistent with His own nature and character. He cannot not be.


. 'What he says is always good'. You assert this, but that is what you're meant to be demonstrating.

I'm pointing out to you my worldview. This is definition, not demonstration. You're asking me to explain my worldview. If you'd asked me to argue for this contention, I'd've told you I can't - it's a presupposition. It's part of my fundamental axiom.


Why is it good simply because it's in accord with God's nature?

That's just the way it is. There's not a whole lot more "why" to it, really.
God has said so. He is in a position to know.


"What he says is always in accordance with his nature". I'm still not getting any moral imperatives from that.

I know. That is because you do not believe.
I already explained the role of God's commands, though. Start considering that.


Where is this authority coming from apart from simple power or 'might makes right'?

The fact that He is the very definition of good. What He says is good by definition. I said that above as well.


Saying that He grants Himself the authority isn't really enough.

That is a bizarre statement; it's like you're half talking to someone else.


Look, Andrew, there's no hurry here. I left this convo for a couple of months; you can certainly wait until you can sit down and digest what I'm saying rather than blow thru something and leave a comment that shows you didn't really read carefully. That'd be preferable.

Stephen B said...

You've twice taken a hypothetical from me and reacted as if I was ascribing it to you. That is not necessarily the case. If I say "Saying x is not enough", I'm saying that I would not accept x as a reply, not that you have already said x. If you had no intention of saying x, then fair enough - I'm now closer to understanding your worldview.

I also typed out a long reply answering your question to me, but unfortunately my iPod swallowed it. As you say, it can wait till I'm on a computer.

When I mentioned you 'bowing out' I was only quoting Bolt's words to me, when he though I'dleft your questions unanswered. He seemed quick to draw conclusions from this. I am not as quick as he is to draw such conclusions.

Stephen B said...

"it's part of my fundamental axioms"

Fine, you're basing your morality on fundamental axioms. I have no problem with that. I think everyone does the same, whether Christian, Humanist or whatever. If you're happy saying that's a valid way of deciding on your own personal morality, then we have no argument. You call your morality 'objective', but if even that flows from your own personal axioms, then it's still ultimately relative.

felixmeister said...

I'm pointing out to you my worldview. This is definition, not demonstration. You're asking me to explain my worldview. If you'd asked me to argue for this contention, I'd've told you I can't - it's a presupposition. It's part of my fundamental axiom.

A contention that can't be argued is simply an assertion and should be dismissed.
Fundamental axioms of an argument must be agreeded upon or demonstrated to be true first, then discussion can begin.
A presupposition is something that underlies a statement. Eg for "My pet walrus is blue" there is the presupposition that I have a pet walrus. If I use this assumption to demonstrate something, such as "not all walrus' are brown or black" I still need to demonstrate or have all parties accept that
1. I have a walrus
2. It is blue
Saying that I presuppose the existence of my walrus does not excuse me from needing to demonstrate the validity of that presupposition.

So the question remains, if you state that God is the definition of good then you are presupposing
1. The existence of God
2. That good can be defined external to the effects upon people.

These presuppositions remain to be demonstrated & until done so the argument holds no water.

Rhology said...

unfortunately my iPod swallowed it.

:-(
I am sorry to hear that. I hate that. In any case, no hurry.




When I mentioned you 'bowing out' I was only quoting Bolt's words to me, when he though I'dleft your questions unanswered

Yes, you are right. And you were not incorrect to say that I'd bowed out. I did indeed. But I appreciate the provocation to get back into the convo. :-)




If you're happy saying that's a valid way of deciding on your own personal morality, then we have no argument.

No, simply basing one's morality on fundamental axioms is not necessarily valid. Basing one's morality on Jesus is fundamentally valid.



You call your morality 'objective', but if even that flows from your own personal axioms, then it's still ultimately relative.

It doesn't flow from my own personal axioms. It flows out of Jesus.

Rhology said...

A contention that can't be argued is simply an assertion and should be dismissed.

Like that one?




Fundamental axioms of an argument must be agreeded upon or demonstrated to be true first, then discussion can begin.

Or... we can discuss the worldview and axioms to see whether they are internally consistent. Internal critique.
We don't have to agree on them or "demonstrate" them (how you'd propose to do that I'm not sure) to see whether they are internally consistent.



if you state that God is the definition of good then you are presupposing
1. The existence of God


Of course; I've never denied that. I am engaging in presuppositional apologetics.
We are discussing the internal consistency of the worldview. Since everyone has presupps, and since a true worldview would be internally consistent, we take on the worldview in question for the sake of argument and analyse it to see if it is consistent. If not, we discard it and try another one.
Atheism, for example, has been discarded b/c of internal inconsistency and indeed absurdity. I don't have to go any further than that to know it is false.



That good can be defined external to the effects upon people.

Defining good in such a way that it is dependent on the effects upon people ends up in viciously circular question begging.

Stephen B said...

"It doesn't flow from my own personal axioms. It flows out of Jesus."

You said: "You're asking me to explain my worldview. If you'd asked me to argue for this contention, I'd've told you I can't - it's a presupposition. It's part of my fundamental axiom. "

I said: "What he says is always in accordance with his nature". I'm still not getting any moral imperatives from that."

You replied: "I know. That is because you do not believe."

Not at all – I’m saying that even if I grant your premise of a God existing, I still don’t think it follows!

Look, we've got into you explaining different parts of your argument in one-liners. I need to follow from start to finish your argument, starting from your opening axioms.

Stephen B said...

Here’s my take on morality.

It is sometimes asserted by theists that for atheists to discuss morality is nonsensical, as they cannot ‘ground morality’ or cannot have ‘objective morality’. I reject this. The only thing necessary for two or more people to discuss any adjective is that they share basic axioms, or a common idea of criteria.

If I want to discuss the relative qualities of two films with someone else, it is not necessary for there to be such a thing as an ‘objectively good film’. We just need to have a basic agreement on the criteria we are looking for. Given that most people DO have this basic agreement, such discussions can take place, albeit people will disagree on the different metrics. Obviously, some people might have what others view as obtuse or perverse evaluation methods – you might meet someone whose only criterion is the number of nude scenes in a film! We can only shrug and say their ideas of what constitutes a good film is so different from ours that discussion on the matter with them is pointless.

Now, it would be possible for me to say that my criterion is simply to defer to Roger Ebert. I define him as being the guru on the matter and therefore state that we all must accept his opinion. That might strike some people as OK as far as it goes – perhaps they prefer Michael Medved – who after all doesn’t have a previous career writing semi-pornographic films for Russ Meyer – but they accept that Ebert knows more about films than the rest of us.

But I could go further and say that deferring to Ebert is the ONLY method of ‘Objectively’ evaluating a film, and if it’s not objective then it’s meaningless. This is what I think the presuppositionalists or apologists like William Lane Craig do when they talk about God and Objective Morality. It doesn’t make any difference that the posited God is infinitely clever than Ebert, the principle remains the same.

I can understand someone saying that if a super clever being who understands more about consequences than us exists, then we should defer to him on what the best course of actions might be in any given situation. That’s fine. But this is only given base axioms that I already have to do with what ‘the best course of actions’ actually means – minimum of suffering, a sense of fairness etc. If a God did not share those basic axioms with me, then I could not see him even as moral, let alone ‘objectively moral’.

A sideways note on axioms – you can use axioms to set up an ‘Objective X’. I can say that the quality of film is judged by its popularity and therefore Gone With the Wind is objectively the best film ever made. But this objectiveness is still rooted in a subjective criterion. Your declaration of your God as being ‘Objectively Moral’ suffers from the same problem.

Rhology said...

I’m saying that even if I grant your premise of a God existing, I still don’t think it follows!

Well, it may not, if all you're granting is that ***A*** god exists. But that's not my claim, and it's not my worldview. You're criticising someone else's worldview.

My opening axiom:
The God of the Bible is and speaks.


The only thing necessary for two or more people to discuss any adjective is that they share basic axioms, or a common idea of criteria.

Fine, but plenty of axioms are wrong.


it would be possible for me to say that my criterion is simply to defer to Roger Ebert.

Whose opinion is hardly normative for anyone else. This is not the case for JEsus. The disanalogy is fatal.


t doesn’t make any difference that the posited God is infinitely clever than Ebert, the principle remains the same.

Maybe if the case were that God's morality is objective b/c God is *CLEVER*, this objection might hold. That's not the claim, though.


But this is only given base axioms that I already have to do with what ‘the best course of actions’ actually means – minimum of suffering, a sense of fairness etc.

Why is suffering bad? Why should we minimise it? What is suffering? According to whom?
Why is fairness good? Why should we maximise it? What is fairness? According to whom?


But this objectiveness is still rooted in a subjective criterion. Your declaration of your God as being ‘Objectively Moral’ suffers from the same problem.

Since that's not my argument, you're again arguing against someone else.

Did you read this yet?

Stephen B said...

"Why is suffering bad?"

By definition it is bad! Do you want to make an argument that suffering is intrinsically good?

"That's not the claim, though."

Yes, you keep saying that. You need to actually state in full what your claim is, in a proper paragraph. All I'm getting so far is one line claims that I'm misunderstanding you. I've got no idea what you actually believe, and how you're getting from 'The God of the Bible is and speaks' to 'There's such a thing as objective morality'. And don't answer that in a one-liner. Please, if you can, start a new paragraph that explains your position from scratch, without being just a reaction or rejection of something I have said.

Rhology said...

By definition it is bad!

Whose definition? Why is it binding on anyone else?


Do you want to make an argument that suffering is intrinsically good?

Irrelevant.


You need to actually state in full what your claim is, in a proper paragraph

No, that's all there is. You asked me for my fundamental axiom; I gave it to you.
You want a longer one? London Baptist Confession of 1689.


how you're getting from 'The God of the Bible is and speaks' to 'There's such a thing as objective morality'.

I've explained that several times already and linked you to my explanation as well. Here it is again.

felixmeister said...

"A contention that can't be argued is simply an assertion and should be dismissed."

Like that one?


No, that can and has been argued.


Fundamental axioms of an argument must be agreeded upon or demonstrated to be true first, then discussion can begin.

Or... we can discuss the worldview and axioms to see whether they are internally consistent. Internal critique.

We can do that, but it will still only show that it is internally consistent. It does not demonstrate that is true.

We don't have to agree on them or "demonstrate" them (how you'd propose to do that I'm not sure) to see whether they are internally consistent.

Correct, but it still remains to be shown that the axioms are true. Internal consistency only helps show that the argument is valid, it does not help to show that the argument is sound. For that the premise must be demonstrated to be true.

"if you state that God is the definition of good then you are presupposing
1. The existence of God"

Of course; I've never denied that. I am engaging in presuppositional apologetics.


That's lovely, but it is still necessary to demonstrate the truth of the presupposition.

"That good can be defined external to the effects upon people."

Defining good in such a way that it is dependent on the effects upon people ends up in viciously circular question begging.


No, I think you are slightly confused about what it means to be viciously circular and/or question begging.
The good and/or bad of an action is solely dependent on it's effects upon those affected. It is an objective standard that is not subject to some external authority.
And if you are confused, this is how laws are generally conceived, the harm done is what the law is proscribing against.
This is internally consistent and demonstrable.
There is no need for one to posit an absolute authority unless one finds it impossible to conceive that an action can have effect upon another beyond what we find relatively objectionable or pleasant.

felixmeister said...

Defining good in such a way that it is dependent on the effects upon people ends up in viciously circular question begging.

There is a simple rebuttle to my claim. You just need to find some moral action that cannot be shown to be subjectively good and/or bad.

Rhology said...

No, that can and has been argued.

That's so slick.
Anyway, you need to demonstrate why my explanation about definitions of worldview is bad.



We can do that, but it will still only show that it is internally consistent. It does not demonstrate that is true.

Yep. I just said that, in fact. Internal consistency is a necessary but not sufficient condition of truthfulness.
Since there's only one consistent worldview (Christianity).


it is still necessary to demonstrate the truth of the presupposition.

Hey, I bet I know a way to do that! How about we start with the internal consistency of the worldview?



The good and/or bad of an action is solely dependent on it's effects upon those affected.

Naked assertion.



It is an objective standard that is not subject to some external authority.

Naked assertion.




if you are confused, this is how laws are generally conceived, the harm done is what the law is proscribing against.

Please give me a reason to think that "how laws are generally conceived" is a good guide for morality.



This is internally consistent and demonstrable.

How would you demonstrate it?



There is no need for one to posit an absolute authority unless one finds it impossible to conceive that an action can have effect upon another beyond what we find relatively objectionable or pleasant.

Naked assertion.



You just need to find some moral action that cannot be shown to be subjectively good and/or bad.

I'm not sure what you mean. Why would I care whether an action is showable to be subjectively good or bad? Subjective opinion can either imitate or differ from the objective good or bad of a given value.

Stephen B said...

I followed your link Rhology. I can't copy and paste, but it all rests on the final why answer, which is "Because we need some standard". That's not an explanation! If all your other premises rest on that then it's a house built on quicksand.

Also, 'we need some standard' suggests some unexplained axiom. Can you state what it might be? Is there some situation you're saying we need the standard to avoid? Is the situation objectively bad? If it's nothing to do with some situation, is there an objective reason we need a standard? NB, these are things you need to establish BEFORE you establish God's Objective Morality, as they are part of your explanation for it. Ergo, you cannot explain them by reference to God's objective morality.

Rhology said...

which is "Because we need some standard". That's not an explanation!

So we don't need a standard?


Also, 'we need some standard' suggests some unexplained axiom. Can you state what it might be?

That's a conclusion, not an axiom, actually.
The alternative is total relativism, which results in total absurdity.

Stephen b said...

Your explanation was set up as a series of questions, with each answer leading to another question. The 'because we need a standard' answer was the one the others rested on. You cannot therefore call it a conclusion - it was effectively your starting point.

I already explained why I don't think absurdity is the result. But if I do accept your proposition, why is total absurdity a problem? You objected to us saying something as basic as 'suffering is bad'. If that requires explanation then you need to explain the problem with absurdity. Furthermore, it's not a proper argument to say 'this is true because we need it to be true'. If that's not your argument then you need to explain it to me better.

Rhology said...

But if I do accept your proposition, why is total absurdity a problem?

LOL.
Blue 7s faster Tuesday than. Shmelleck fortigty leiebsnektoraleeeeeeeeeee

Kadrawyman! Go7*dont!ld'fkkkkkknnnNAR8!??

Stephen B said...

Ok, so nonsensical post to illustrate absurdity. That doesn't demonstrate an objective problem with absurdity. It's either a subjective problem, because it rests on a subjective idea, or it's objectively bad, in which case you need to tell me what the objective axiom or whatever is, that 'absurdity is bad' rests on. Or tell me where I've gone wrong.

Stephen b said...

I'm posting in bits, to avoid losing a long post in one go.

My point is not to say absurdity is good, or that we need no standards. I'm pointing out that you argue atheists can't even say 'raping kids is bad', because to do so requires 'objective ideas'. But to argue for your objective standard, you need us to accept axioms that are no more objective. Ok, call them 'conclusions' or whatever. 'Absurdity is bad' is no more objective than the axioms that our agreement on the badness of raping kids rest on.

You can demonstrate the problems resulting from absurdity, but the damage caused by child rape are equally obvious. You can go on to ask why the damage to kids is bad. We can equally ask you to further explain the problems with absurdity. At any rate, there is little chaos resulting from humans almost universally just rejecting child rape. People reject it instinctively, regardless of why they post-rationalise the revulsion.

Rhology said...

You can demonstrate the problems resulting from absurdity, but the damage caused by child rape are equally obvious.

I too fresh stale fish.

Stephen B said...

Ok, so nonsensical post to illustrate absurdity. That doesn't demonstrate an objective problem with absurdity. It's either a subjective problem, because it rests on a subjective idea, or it's objectively bad, in which case you need to tell me what the objective axiom or whatever is, that 'absurdity is bad' rests on. Or tell me where I've gone wrong.

Rhology said...

Blinker styx promagranate. 88744665757!!!!

Stephen B said...

Why is absurdity bad? Why should we minimise it? What is absurdity? According to whom?

"Blinker styx promagranate. 88744665757!!!!"

Ah, this actually translates into something coherent. It means: "Rhoblogy concedes the argument".

My proof of this? Well, the alternative is total chaos, which results in total absurdity. Thus it MUST logically mean concession on Rhoblogy's part. Another nonsense post from him will confirm it...

Rhology said...

Conceding (or winning) arguments is absurd.

felixmeister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen B said...

Excellent, I'll take that as concession on your part. I note also that you have failed to address any of my other recent points. If you've got no more to add, I'll thank you now for the discussion.

felixmeister said...

That's so slick. 

Oh, not as slick as what it was responding to.


Anyway, you need to demonstrate why my explanation about definitions of worldview is bad.

Oh, there's nothing wrong with defining your worldview however you wish. But that world view must still be demonstrated to be consistent and any presuppositions of that world must be agreed upon or demonstrated to be true. 


Yep. I just said that, in fact. Internal consistency is a necessary but not sufficient condition of truthfulness.

Excellent, once you have shown the evidence of the sufficient conditions, your assumption can be accepted.


Since there's only one consistent worldview (Christianity).

Naked assertion, and also incorrect.
The presuppositionalist worldview requires that one cannot have knowledge of anything without ultimately accounting for that knowledge with reference to god. 
Because one can do this without needing to reference a god it demonstrates the inconsistency of that worldview.


Hey, I bet I know a way to do that! How about we start with the internal consistency of the worldview?

Very good, now that you've started, you need to finish, or at least get half way there.


Naked assertion.

It's a demonstrable premise, backed up by argument and evidence. You can't, with any internal consistently, assert that an action can be judged as good and/or bad without reference to its effects. That subjective effects can differ  from person to person is demonstrably true. This isn't a naked assertion, it is evidential. If you cannot agree here, then you need to show otherwise or bow out of the conversation.


Naked assertion.

Again, no. The fact that it can be checked whether someone is better or worse after examining the effects of an action without being subject to their perceptions demonstrates that it is objective.


Please give me a reason to think that "how laws are generally conceived" is a good guide for morality.

I never said it was, it was an example to help you understand.
But that said, laws are generally conceived from the lawmakers own internal guides for morality and accounted for by the harm they are seeking to prevent and the good they are seeking to do.


How would you demonstrate it?

Simply by examining the effects of the actions on all parties and showing that there is no need for an absolute authority to determine the good and/or bad of individual action.


Naked assertion.

Sigh, again, no

P1 - actions have effects.
P2 - these effects can be examined for their influence (good and/or bad) on the well being of those affected.
C1 - the well being of those affected by an action can be determined.
C2 - the morality of an action can therefore be determined
C3 - it is therefore unnecessary to refer elsewhere to be able to determine the morality of an action.


Why would I care whether an action is showable to be subjectively good or bad? 

Why should one care? Because if one can do so, one can have a definite measurable standard for arbitrating actions.
Why should you care? Because if you can find just one moral action that cannot be shown to be such, then there needs to be another standard external to the parties involved.


Subjective opinion can either imitate or differ from the objective good or bad of a given value.

I don't understand. What does subjective opinion have to do with this - except in that it is one of the (measurable) effects of an action?

Rhology said...

I'll take that as concession on your part.

Since you don't have a problem with absurdity, you should take it both as a concession and as a strong refutation.
Also neither of those. And only one of them. You get to choose one, and you don't get to.

Rhology said...

Hi felixmeister,

But that world view must still be demonstrated to be consistent

And that is not the same as providing substantiation for the worldview's truth. Which is what you were asking before; you have lost track a bit of the conversation.



and any presuppositions of that world must be agreed upon or demonstrated to be true.

See? Right there - this part is not true. One can take a worldview as a given, as a thought experiment, to see whether it is internally consistent for the sake of argument, without demonstrating that it is true. You may be getting lost in that I go into the process the other way 'round. If a worldview is true, it will be internally consistent; if only one worldview is internally consistent, that's the true one. It's a necessary but not sufficient condition, but if only one worldview has the necessary condition...



Naked assertion, and also incorrect.

I have a whole blog in which I have shown this to be true many times. It's hardly "naked".
"Incorrect" is naked - show it.



Because one can do this without needing to reference a god it demonstrates the inconsistency of that worldview.

How can one have knowledge without God?



You can't, with any internal consistently, assert that an action can be judged as good and/or bad without reference to its effects
and
attempt at syllogism

Another naked assertion. Try demonstrating it this time, please.



That subjective effects can differ from person to person is demonstrably true

Of course. It's also irrelevant.



The fact that it can be checked whether someone is better or worse after examining the effects of an action without being subject to their perceptions demonstrates that it is objective.

How do you know whether someone is better or worse off?
This is question-begging.



Simply by examining the effects of the actions on all parties and showing that there is no need for an absolute authority to determine the good and/or bad of individual action.

Go for it.
Here's a good starting point.


Why should one care? Because if one can do so, one can have a definite measurable standard for arbitrating actions.

Why should one care about having a definite measurable standard for arbitrating actions?



What does subjective opinion have to do with this - except in that it is one of the (measurable) effects of an action?

I have no idea. You brought it up and I was attempting to understand what you meant.

Stephen B said...

"Since you don't have a problem with absurdity"

Rhoblogy, I don't think you're even reading these posts beyond possibly skimming them. If you look, you'll not that I specifically said: "My point is not to say absurdity is good, or that we need no standards." I even elsewhere explained why I didn't see absurdity as the result of rejecting your ideas of objective morality, another point you completely ignored.

I asked you to tell me what your OBJECTIVE problem with absurdity was. Same as you delightfully asked what the objective problem with "Raping little girls" was. If you're interpreting this as me not having a problem with absurdity, I'll equally interpret this as you not having a problem with child rape.

You answering with nonsense statements is no more an answer than me posting photographs of under-age rape victims. It's just "This is what nonsense/rape looks like, any questions?".

I tried to explain this to you, but you were just too delighted with your own "xdasdsdfgsdfg!" posts to even engage with the argument, or even apparently to read what I was actually saying. Anything else?

Rhology said...

You asked "why is total absurdity a problem?"

Why did you ask that?

Stephen B said...

"Why did you ask that"

Rhoblogy, you've had several posts now to explain your position or respond to my posts. I'm made my position clear, I've clarified where it seemed you weren't getting me. In response, now was the time for you to actually come up with something in response.

But all you've offered is another one-line question, apparently inviting me to clarify and explain yet again... In short, I've done my part, I've given you several opportunities to pick up the reins of the discussion again and you've rejected them all.

Rhology said...

So that we can go forward, either affirm or disaffirm this statement:


I, Stephen B, reject any worldview that results/concludes in absurdity, because absurdity is absurd.

--Affirm

--Disaffirm

Thanks!

Stephen said...

Are you pulling my leg? I post:
"...But all you've offered is another one-line question, apparently inviting me to clarify and explain yet again..."

And your response is to AGAIN invite me to clarify and explain yet again?

My position on absurdity was never in question, as I stated several times! And your question is tautologous anyway - "any worldview that results/concludes in absurdity, because absurdity is absurd'. You might as well say "...reject evil, because evil is evil".

Here's one for you:

"I, Rhoblogy, condemn child-rape in any scenario or universe, including hypothetical Godless ones.

--Affirm

--Disaffirm"

Rhology said...

You first, my friend.

Affirm or disaffirm?

Stephen B said...

In a lost longer post, I did affirm, though:
A) I had already said as much in previous posts
B) it's a moot point as I never denied it in the first place - my point was that if YOU are going to question basic axioms like 'child rape is wrong', or at least claim that it was something that needed establishing, then YOU cannot get away with making assertions yourself like 'absurdity is wrong'.

Oh and c), as pointed out, your question was circular in the first place.

And another one line question from you.

I already considered y you'd ruled yourself out of sensible discussion several posts ago. You've just turned yet another opportunity to engage.

We done?

Your turn.

Rhology said...

So you affirm it.

Why did you ask "why is total absurdity a problem?"

You can whine again about how you've already explained it. You didn't. You may think you did, but that's hardly my problem.
Make it succinct, explain (again) why you asked it.

BTW I love how you're complaining about the tautological nature of saying "absurdity is absurd". It's really funny, but it's also funny how you're not getting why it's funny.

As for your child rape question, just since I find you amusing at this point, I'll answer.
The point of my linking you to that other post about A Scenario is to reveal that no atheistIC worldview can say with surety that what Tkalim was doing is objectively wrong. Ie, that it is a fact that it is morally wrong.
So I disaffirm your statement. In a godless universe, there is no reason to think child rape is wrong (or right); it just IS.

Stephen B said...

Great, so to clarify, you refuse to say child rape is wrong in every conceivable scenario. It is not objectively or intrinsically wrong, it is only wrong SUBJECT to the existence of God. If there's no God then you have no problem with it, even though the suffering involved is exactly the same with or without the God. At least you're honest.

Stephen B said...

You bleat to me about why I asked you why absurdity is a problem. This despite me already explaining to you why I asked. When you ask people how they condemn child rape, does that automatically follow that you yourself do NOT condemn it (your above separate admission notwithstanding).

No, you were asking how the OTHER justifies that position in THEIR worldview. And yes, I believe I already explained that too, despite you whining that I didn't. Whine no more - I just explained again.

Rhology said...

If there's no God then you have no problem with it,

Close. If there's no God then there is no reason to have a problem with it, outside of 100% arbitrary whim.


even though the suffering involved is exactly the same with or without the God.

In a godless universe, so what if people suffer? They're going to die and be forgotten in 100 years, and all memory of 99.9999999999% of all people will be gone within 200 years. And the rest will be lost in the heat death of the universe. So what?

Rhology said...

When you ask people how they condemn child rape, does that automatically follow that you yourself do NOT condemn it (your above separate admission notwithstanding).

So you honestly didn't know why I'd think absurdity is bad? Shrug. OK, whatever you say.

Stephen B said...

Oh, and May 9, 9am precisely is the last time I explained... succinctly.

I have no problem with someone saying they reject absurdity. But then I'm not the one asking other people to justify basic axioms like: "I condemn child rape". If you're taking the position that everyone else has to explain that to YOU, then you have to hold yourself to the same standard for consistency's sake. Hence my question for you. Which you never answered, just first posting nonsense "ugfyjdr" at me, then asking me the same question back.

Stephen B said...

"So you honestly don't know why I think absurdity is bad?"

You've barely explained any of your positions. Mainly you've asked me questions and occasionally told me I've misunderstood you.

I'm more surprised by your apparent indifference to suffering. You cannot even say that the suffering of a child is intrinsically best avoided. The kid'll die eventually, so why care if he suffers agony before he dies? I hope you don't have kids...

Thanks for the (eventual) insight into your worldview. I can see now why you kept it hidden for so many posts.

Rhology said...

How is condemnation of child rape a basic axiom?


You've barely explained any of your positions.

Sorta true. I do have a blog. You may have read it once or twice. I've written lots of words there explaining my position. You could also read the London Baptist Confession of 1689.


I'm more surprised by your apparent indifference to suffering.

If atheism is true, I see no reason to care about suffering.
I don't think atheism is true, and I'm hardly indifferent to it. I want you to tell me why, on YOUR position, one could consistently care about suffering.


The kid'll die eventually, so why care if he suffers agony before he dies? I hope you don't have kids...

I hope you don't think you understand internal critiques...


Thanks for the (eventual) insight into your worldview.

Since you have no idea what I'm talking about so far, you've unfortunately achieved no such insight.

felixmeister said...

Posting in two parts due to char limit

 "But that world view must still be demonstrated to be consistent"
 And that is not the same as providing substantiation for the worldview's truth. Which is what you were asking before; you have lost track a bit of the conversation.

 
No, I am forming a complete sentence the second half of which is below.
 
"and any presuppositions of that world must be agreed upon or demonstrated to be true."
 
See? Right there - this part is not true.


If there is any desire to have a discussion or a persuasive argument, yes it is.
To say otherwise is to essentially allow any presuppositions of a statement that are internally consistent to stand as true. I could say "My pet dog is brown", a presupposition of this is that I have a pet dog. If I then use that as a basis of an argument without establishing that as true to the agreement of all parties involved, my argument is essentially invalid.


One can take a worldview as a given, as a thought experiment, to see whether it is internally consistent for the sake of argument,
without demonstrating that it is true.

 
And as I said earlier, that is as far as it can be taken. You were asking why using a definition of a worldview as the presupposition of an assumption is bad.
I explained.
If the presuppositions of an assumption cannot either be agreed upon or demonstrated to be consistent & true then those presuppositions cannot be used as the basis of an argument and it undermines any part of the assumption that relies upon that presupposition.
 
You may be getting lost in that I go into the process the other way 'round.
If a worldview is true, it will be internally consistent;
if only one worldview is internally consistent, that's the true one.
It's a necessary but not sufficient condition, but if only one worldview has the necessary condition...
 I have a whole blog in which I have shown this to be true many times. It's hardly "naked".
"Incorrect" is naked - show it.
How can one have knowledge without God?

 
 I'll take these together as they are all essentially scooting around the one issue.
 
 
But to show that only one worldview is true, one must show that all other worldviews are not, which is in itself an impossibility as there will always be worldviews that you do not or will ever know about.
So even if you have shown all worldviews you know of to not be internally consistent, there is the possibility that there exists worldviews that are.
Second, you have not shown my worldview to be inconsistent, I have looked over your blog and it has not done so.
Third, your own worldview is inconsistent. 
Within that worldview it is not
P1 - In your worldview it is not possible to have knowledge without accounting for it by reference to a specific Christian god.
P2 - For a being to be able to think they must necessarily exist.
C1 - If a being thinks, they must therefore exist
C2 - A being can therefore have a justified true belief that they exist by virtue of the fact they are merely positing whether they exist or not.
C3 - This knowledge is gained without accounting for it by reference to anything external to that being
C4 - Therefore P1 is not consistent. 
C5 - Therefore P1 is not true.

felixmeister said...

 "You can't, with any internal consistently, assert that an action can be judged as good and/or bad without reference to its effects.  That subjective effects can differ from person to person is demonstrably true."
 
Another naked assertion. Try demonstrating it this time, please.
Of course. It's also irrelevant


Can you see how your statement doesn't make sense? You state I am making a naked assertion agree with the statement demonstrating it and at the same time ask me to demonstrate it. 
 
 
 How do you know whether someone is better or worse off?

Are they, happier, sadder, healthier, less healthy, damaged, poorer, richer, alive, dead, more educated, under delusions or not. The ways are many, varied, arguable, quantifiable and qualifiable. I'm not sure why you would ask this question, as I am sure you yourself would be able to tell.


This is question-begging.

It's not question begging, the conclusion is not contained in the premise. 
 
 
 "Simply by examining the effects of the actions on all parties and showing that there is no need for an absolute authority to determine the good and/or bad of individual action."
 
Go for it.
Here's a good starting point.



That's simple, I would explain to him the harm that he is doing to the girls, the families, his own village, that it's a terrible thing and degrades everyone involved including myself.
It may or may not be persuasive to the man but there is no need for an absolute authority to explain why the actions are wrong. 

 
 Why should one care about having a definite measurable standard for arbitrating actions?

That's what you were arguing. You were the one stating we need an objective moral standard. So why are you asking me?
 
 
 I have no idea. You brought it up and I was attempting to understand what you meant.

Um, no I didn't. Could you quote my statement showing this please, I can't seem to find it.

Rhology said...

If there is any desire to have a discussion or a persuasive argument, yes it is.

You're forgetting that we're taking on the worldview for the sake of the argument, to see whether it is INTERNALLY consistent.


To say otherwise is to essentially allow any presuppositions of a statement that are internally consistent to stand as true.

No, you forgot a part - internal consistency is a necessary condition of a worldview's truth but not a sufficient condition.
But since only CHristianity is internally consistent, I figure this is a good argument for Christianity's truth.



. If I then use that as a basis of an argument without establishing that as true to the agreement of all parties involved, my argument is essentially invalid.

Your dog'd brown-ness doesn't constitute a worldview. A worldview is not A proposition abbout something contingent. It deals with all sorts of things, including fundamental and necessary truths. Not peripheral things like your dog.



But to show that only one worldview is true, one must show that all other worldviews are not

I've provided lots of critiques of different major worldview on this very blog - check the archives.
And i've studied others that I haven't critiqued in writing here.



which is in itself an impossibility as there will always be worldviews that you do not or will ever know about.

It's sufficient to study a category of worldviews (for example, polytheistic paganism) without studying all the more individualised members of that category. I know that polytheistic paganism is false, so any member of that greater category is false.



even if you have shown all worldviews you know of to not be internally consistent, there is the possibility that there exists worldviews that are.

I suppose. I await more specifics.



you have not shown my worldview to be inconsistent, I have looked over your blog and it has not done so.

Thanks for your opinion.



your own worldview is inconsistent.

Prove it.



P1 - in your worldview it is not possible to have knowledge without accounting for it by reference to a specific Christian god.

This is where you misunderstand.
Knowledge is not possible w/o God's existence, but plenty of ppl do not worship or acknowledge God. THe Bible makes this clear, tells us to expect it.
The claim is not that people have to acknowledge the source of knowledge to have knowledge. The claim is that they rely on the source whether they outwardly acknowledge Him or not. Sin happens.
Those who don't acknowledge Him demonstrate they are suppressing the truth about Him in a variety of ways, one of which is that the competing worldviews they form to make sense of the world never do, never achieve consistency, either internal or with the external world.


You state I am making a naked assertion agree with the statement demonstrating it and at the same time ask me to demonstrate it.

I don't understand at all what you're saying. Please clarify.

Rhology said...

How do you know whether someone is better or worse off?

Are they, happier, sadder, healthier, less healthy, damaged, poorer, richer, alive, dead, more educated, under delusions or not


You're assuming what you need to prove. How do you know that being happier, healthier, richer, alive, more educated, etc are good things?


The ways are many, varied, arguable, quantifiable and qualifiable.I'm not sure why you would ask this question, as I am sure you yourself would be able to tell.

B/c our worldview foundations are different.
I am asking you to justify these value claims based on your worldview.


That's simple, I would explain to him the harm that he is doing to the girls, the families, his own village, that it's a terrible thing and degrades everyone involved including myself.

What is your argument that these things are "harm"ful, terrible, and degrading?
After you give that argument, what would beb your argument that harm is bad? That one ought not to act "terribly"? That one ought not to degrade others?


Why should one care about having a definite measurable standard for arbitrating actions?

That's what you were arguing. You were the one stating we need an objective moral standard. So why are you asking me?


B/c our worldview foundations are different.
I am asking you to justify these value claims based on your worldview.

felixmeister said...

You're forgetting that we're taking on the worldview for the sake of the argument, to see whether it is INTERNALLY consistent.


And as I noted that is fine, as long as that is as far as it goes. But if you wish to extend into a discussion or persuasive argument BEYOND seeing if it is internally consistent into something EXTERNAL of the examination of that internal consistency you need provide more.

No, you forgot a part - internal consistency is a necessary condition of a worldview's truth but not a sufficient condition.
But since only CHristianity is internally consistent, I figure this is a good argument for Christianity's truth.


Well no, as I have shown, Christianity is not internally consistent.

A worldview is not A proposition abbout something contingent. It deals with all sorts of things, including fundamental and necessary truths.


Not quite, I think you don’t quite understand what a worldview is. It is not a position one can fall back to when ones argument cannot be demonstrated. A worldview is made up of propositions that are held to be true, these can be argued from unless challenged, shown to be false or inconsistent. If challenged they must then be shown to be true.
So given that a world view is made up of these “fundamental and necessary truths”, they are then subject to the same rigour that any other proposition is, _if_ they are to be used as the basis of an argument.
Some of the propositions of a worldview are fundamental to that worldview and some are not. Some can be discarded from that worldview without having to discard it as a whole, some cannot.
Your problem is that try to address peripheral propositions of other worldviews and use that as an argument against the fundamental propositions of those worldview while simultaneously rejecting problems with the fundamental propositions of your worldview as merely peripheral.

"But to show that only one worldview is true, one must show that all other worldviews are not"

I've provided lots of critiques of different major worldview on this very blog - check the archives.
And i've studied others that I haven't critiqued in writing here.

"which is in itself an impossibility as there will always be worldviews that you do not or will ever know about."

It's sufficient to study a category of worldviews (for example, polytheistic paganism) without studying all the more individualised members of that category. I know that polytheistic paganism is false, so any member of that greater category is false.

"even if you have shown all worldviews you know of to not be internally consistent, there is the possibility that there exists worldviews that are."

I suppose. I await more specifics.


What you have been committing is the fallacy of the collectively exhaustive. There is the possibility of other worldviews, ones that you, I or anyone currently on this planet have never thought of. There is no need to provide specifics, you need to demonstrate why you have considered, and shown to be fundamentally inconsistent, every possible type of worldview including those that you cannot conceive of.


Thanks for your opinion.

This means that your - all other worldviews are inconsistent, therefore mine is the only true one - argument is invalid due to the failure of one of its premises.

felixmeister said...

Knowledge is not possible w/o God's existence

But as I have shown, it is not necessary in all cases. The source of that knowledge is the entity Itself. I have shown that the source is the entity Itself.
For your worldview to remain consistent you have only one option, solipsism. Under your worldview, the source of knowledge is God. I have demonstrated that the entity holding that knowledge is the source of that knowledge. Therefore that entity, if your worldview is to remain consistent, is God.

THe Bible makes this clear, tells us to expect it.

Which means only that there is text that exists that can be claimed to say that, no more.

The problem is that a particular diety is not claiming that all people believe it exists. Some people are claiming that certains books were authoured directly or indirectly by the diety and that those books claim that all people believe in this diety.
As a claim the burden of proof lies first upon the people who claim those books are directly or indirectly authoured by the diety to show such, and then upon the the diety itself to show good reason that all people believe it exists.

The claim is not that people have to acknowledge the source of knowledge to have knowledge. The claim is that they rely on the source whether they outwardly acknowledge Him or not.

Then this must be shown to be true, and as I have shown, that source can be something else, it is you who must demonstrate that people rely on the source that you define.

Sin happens.

Of course sin happens, given the number of religions, many of them contradictory it would be almost impossible to not sin. It is also irrelevant.

one of which is that the competing worldviews they form to make sense of the world never do, never achieve consistency, either internal or with the external world.

Except they are internally consistent with the world, more so than your worldview, and make better sense of the external than yours. My worldview encompasses and explains your worldview, yours cannot even accommodate the most basic of knowledge claims.



"You state I am making a naked assertion agree with the statement demonstrating it and at the same time ask me to demonstrate it. "

I don't understand at all what you're saying. Please clarify.


What you call naked assertion: ” You can't, with any internal consistently, assert that an action can be judged as good and/or bad without reference to its effects.”

Me demonstrating it: “That subjective effects can differ from person to person is demonstrably true."

You agreeing with the statement demonstrating it: “Of course.”

You asking me to demonstrate it: “Try demonstrating it this time, please.”

felixmeister said...

You're assuming what you need to prove. How do you know that being happier, healthier, richer, alive, more educated, etc are good things?

No, I am proving whether I can determine something. I assume that effects upon those affected can be observed, measured, inferred or surmised. I am arguing that I can use quantification and qualification of those effects to make the determination.
Very simply, that which is good, is that which enables one to be able to be better able to stay healthy, adapt, reproduce, respond, & grow without restricting the same in others. You know, the basics of life.
And also because they are self-evident. It is worse for a person to lose an arm than to not lose an arm, even a moral relativist like yourself must admit that.


B/c our worldview foundations are different.
I am asking you to justify these value claims based on your worldview.


Are you implying that you don’t know without having to reference something outside of the effected individuals whether there is harm or good to a person? That within your worldview the effect upon someone is irrelevant? That you cannot judge if something should or should not be done without having to reference an external source?
Which is what I have done, as my worldview is internally consistent. But we're not talking about my worldview, we're talking about how you can coherently sustain a need for an external moral authority.


What is your argument that these things are "harm"ful, terrible, and degrading?
After you give that argument, what would beb your argument that harm is bad? That one ought not to act "terribly"? That one ought not to degrade others?


Because of the objectively observable & measurable effects of those things and because the individuals are demonstrably worse off. Are you really suggesting that harm is not bad? The reduction of harm is inherent, the only people who state otherwise are the nihilists, error theorists or relativists. As soon as you refuse to account for harm within your valuation you open the way for the justification of almost any atrocity.


B/c our worldview foundations are different.
I am asking you to justify these value claims based on your worldview.


Actually no, you are asserting that an external absolute moral authority is required, I am simply showing that this is not the case. I didn’t claim we needed an objective moral standard. Just b/c our worldview foundations are different doesn’t mean I have to justify your claims.
You need to justify your claim for requiring an objective moral standard.
So, given that you have agreed that subjective effects can differ from person to person.
1. How can moral judgements be made without reference to the effects upon the affected?
2. In what way can moral judgements not be made based upon the effects of actions upon the effected?

Rhology said...

But if you wish to extend into a discussion or persuasive argument BEYOND seeing if it is internally consistent into something EXTERNAL of the examination of that internal consistency you need provide more.

Then we don't disagree.
Of course, if only one worldview is internally consistent, that's really as far as one needs to go.


as I have shown, Christianity is not internally consistent.

I missed where you showed that.


I think you don’t quite understand what a worldview is.

Whether I understand it is beside the point. I'm helping you understand that the way we judge between worldviews is not the way you've been proposing.



There is the possibility of other worldviews, ones that you, I or anyone currently on this planet have never thought of.

Not really, not when the broader categories are taken into account, such as monotheism, polytheism, materialism, naturalism, relativism. That's pretty much all there is.
If you think some others exist, here's an idea - bring forward your evidence.



This means that your - all other worldviews are inconsistent, therefore mine is the only true one - argument is invalid due to the failure of one of its premises.

Supporting argumentation?



But as I have shown, it is not necessary in all cases.

You showed it in your imagination, but not here.



For your worldview to remain consistent you have only one option, solipsism

Actually, that's the logical conclusion of atheism, not Christianity.


Which means only that there is text that exists that can be claimed to say that, no more.

It's not merely text, on my worldview. It is the very revelation of an omniscient unchanging God.



As a claim the burden of proof lies first upon the people who claim those books are directly or indirectly authoured by the diety to show such,

Depends on what worldview you're putting forward. Atheism is absurd, and burdens of proof don't exist on atheism.
ON Christianity, the Bible is the STARTING point, not the result of a line of reasoning.



Then this must be shown to be true

It has been. God's Word is the most reliable source of information possible, and I was just repeating Romans 1.



Except they are internally consistent with the world, more so than your worldview,

Naked assertion. I've put years into this blog to show this isn't so.

Rhology said...

My worldview encompasses and explains your worldview

How do you know that the external world exists?



yours cannot even accommodate the most basic of knowledge claims.

What precisely makes you say that? You're full of assertions today!



I assume that effects upon those affected can be observed, measured, inferred or surmised.

And let's say I assume the opposite.
Now what? How do we know which of us is correct?



Very simply, that which is good, is that which enables one to be able to be better able to stay healthy, adapt, reproduce, respond, & grow without restricting the same in others. You know, the basics of life.

Don't assume that life is good, or that these things are good if they lead to prolongation of life. You need to SHOW why this is so.



And also because they are self-evident.

No, they're not - I disagree with that entirely. SHOW they're self-evident.



It is worse for a person to lose an arm than to not lose an arm, even a moral relativist like yourself must admit that.

1) Show it, don't assert it.
2) I'm not a moral relativist. You need to deal honestly with my position or you can just talk to yourself.




Are you implying that you don’t know without having to reference something outside of the effected individuals whether there is harm or good to a person?

Not implying; I've explicitly said so dozens of times on this blog.
And I'm not interested in "harm". I'm interested in the truth, what is good.



That within your worldview the effect upon someone is irrelevant?

Not irrelevant, but not the foundational question.



That you cannot judge if something should or should not be done without having to reference an external source?

Correct. I'm one human among 7 billion. Why should anyone listen to my opinions?



Because of the objectively observable & measurable effects of those things and because the individuals are demonstrably worse off.

OK, so objectively measure "worse". Lay out your experiment, your evidence, and what instrumentation you used to measure "worse"ness.
Right, you can't. You ASSUME what is good and bad and then extrapolate from that to find out whether a given action increased or decreased good.
But I'm not asking about that; I'm calling your assumption of what is good into question.



Are you really suggesting that harm is not bad?

On atheism, I don't see any reason to think that bad even exists. Prove me wrong. Show it.



The reduction of harm is inherent

Let's say Joe Atheist says the maximisation of harm is inherent. What is your argument against him?



the only people who state otherwise are the nihilists, error theorists or relativists

So? Maybe they know what atheism results in and you don't.



As soon as you refuse to account for harm within your valuation you open the way for the justification of almost any atrocity.

They wouldn't be atrocities if the goal of existence is the maximisation of harm, now would they?
Hospitals would be atrocities in that case.
expand your mind, get outside your box, answer my questions.



Actually no, you are asserting that an external absolute moral authority is required

Otherwise we end up in the morass we've seen above from you.



I am simply showing that this is not the case.

You haven't shown that. You've shown the opposite - that YOU want to be the moral authority.

felixmeister said...

Apologies for the delay, been busy at work and forgot I hadn't posted this yet.


But if
you wish to extend into a discussion or persuasive argument BEYOND seeing if it
is internally consistent into something EXTERNAL of the examination of that
internal consistency you need provide more.



Then we don't disagree.
Of course, if only one worldview is internally consistent, that's really as far
as one needs to go.




No, if it conflicts with reality then it must be discarded, if it makes predictions about how the world will act and fails in those predictions then it cannot be sustained.




as I have shown, Christianity is not internally consistent.


“I missed where you showed that.”


I’ll C/P
again for you.


P1 - In your worldview it is not possible to
have knowledge without accounting for it by reference to a specific Christian
god.

P2 - For a being to be able to think they must
necessarily exist.
C1 - If a being thinks, they must therefore
exist
C2 - A being can therefore have a justified true
belief that they exist by virtue of the fact they are merely positing whether
they exist or not.
C3 - This knowledge is gained without accounting
for it by reference to anything external to that being


Then, in response to your equivocation: The source of that
knowledge is the entity Itself.



I think you don’t quite understand what a worldview is.



Whether I understand it is beside the point. I'm helping you understand that
the way we judge between worldviews is not the way you've been proposing.




Well,
yes it is. You want to use a worldview as a starting point you had damn well
understand what one actually is. It’s not up to you to decide this, nor I. You
can’t simply define something as what you are arguing towards, that’s a fallacy
of definition.


There is the possibility of other worldviews, ones that you, I or anyone
currently on this planet have never thought of.


Not really, not when the broader categories are taken into account, such as
monotheism, polytheism, materialism, naturalism, relativism. That's pretty much
all there is.
If you think some others exist, here's an idea - bring forward your evidence.


Just as a start, the very small and the very large are not encompassed by
any of those. You betray your ignorance of what is or could be possible.

This means that your - all other worldviews are inconsistent, therefore mine
is the only true one - argument is invalid due to the failure of one of its
premises.


Supporting argumentation?


The aforementioned fallacy, it’s similar to the fallacy of false dichotomy,
one cannot prove the existence of something by disproving something else, when
those other things are part of a set.

But as I have shown, it is not necessary in all cases.

You showed it in your imagination, but not here.



Um, no, just because
you don't quite understand something, that doesn't mean you can just make stuff
up to suit yourself.


For your worldview to remain consistent you have only one option, solipsism

Actually, that's the logical conclusion of atheism, not Christianity.



Not quite: Under Christianity there can be no knowledge without it coming from God. An
individual can know that they themselves exist. That knowledge comes from the
individual themself. As all knowledge comes only from God, therefore that
individual must be God.



Which
means only that there is text that exists that can be claimed to say that, no
more.


It's not merely text, on my worldview. It is the very
revelation of an omniscient unchanging God.


A worldview is not a substitute for proof, one cannot just fall back on 'It's my worldview' when challenged.

felixmeister said...

As a claim the burden of proof lies first upon the people who claim those books are directly or indirectly authoured by the diety to show such,

Depends on what worldview you're putting forward.
ON Christianity, the Bible is the STARTING point, not the result of a line of reasoning.


We're not talking about atheism, we're talking about your misunderstanding of what a worldview is. If you're putting forward a worldview it must be demonstrated to be true.
If you use a text as starting point and that text is inconsistent, incomplete and wrong - verifiably so in cases, you have the burden.



Atheism is absurd, and burdens of proof
don't exist on atheism.


This doesn't even make sense


Then this must be shown to be true

It has been. God's Word is the most reliable source of information possible,
and I was just repeating Romans 1.



Then you have to show that it is God’s word. All you have is second hand reports translated a few times with parts discarded when they don't suit. Then you must show that God's word actually is reliable and if you take the bible as being Gods word, then there are many examples that would demonstrate its unreliability.



Except they are internally consistent with the world, more so than your worldview,

Naked assertion. I've put years into this blog to show this isn't so.


Just because you've put years in is no argument for its veracity. In fact it's a good example of cognitive dissonance.


>My worldview encompasses and explains your worldview


How do you know that the external world exists?

What's that got to do with my statement? My worldview is not predicated on the necessary existence of the external world.

yours cannot even accommodate the most basic of knowledge claims.

What precisely makes you say that? You're full of assertions today!

No, I've already demonstrated this. Your worldview cannot accommodate that most basic of knowledge claims, that we can know we exist by the mere act of thinking about our existence.

I assume that effects upon those affected can be observed, measured,
inferred or surmised.


And let's say I assume the opposite.
Now what? How do we know which of us is correct?



We see if we can observe, measure, infer or surmise the effects. And unsurprisingly, we can. And before
you start, yes, they have been observed, measured etc.



Very simply, that which is good, is that which enables one to be able to be better able to stay healthy, adapt, reproduce, respond, & grow without restricting the same in others. You know, the basics of life.

Don't assume that life is good, or that these things are good if they lead to prolongation of life. You need to SHOW why this is so.



Yeaahhh, nah. 1. I didn't say prolongation. 2. That which is good to an individual is that which enables that individual to thrive. 3. There are many individuals. That which enables one individual to thrive may not necessarily enable another to thrive.




And also because they are self-evident.

No, they're not - I disagree with that entirely.


So you don't agree that that which promotes life is good? I suggest you run along and remove all that
support of yours for the pro-life cause.

felixmeister said...

It is worse for a person to lose an arm than to not lose an arm, even a moral relativist like yourself must admit that.


1) Show it, don't assert it.
2) I'm not a moral relativist. You need to deal honestly with my position or you can just talk to yourself.


Show that someone who has lost an arm is not as well off as someone who hasn't?
How about asking them to tie their shoelaces, I think that might just do it.
If you don't think an objective measures based upon actual results of an action can determine whether that action is harmful or beneficial and are relying on some
arbitrary and changing standard then yes, I'd say you were.


Are you implying that you don’t know without having to reference
something outside of the effected individuals whether there is harm or good to a person?


Not implying; I've explicitly said so dozens of times on this blog.
And I'm not interested in "harm". I'm interested in the truth, what is good.


So if a person is hurt or benefited by an action but that action is not covered within what you have accepted as truth or good, then how you decide?

That within your worldview the effect upon someone is irrelevant?

Not irrelevant, but not the foundational question.

So, you agree, the effect upon someone is relevant.
At what point does the effect of an action become less important than abidance to a semi-arbitrary set of incomplete rules?


That you cannot judge if something should or should not be done without
having to reference an external source?


Correct. I'm one human among 7 billion. Why should anyone listen to my
opinions?


So all those without referencing an external source are just wandering around unable to make moral decisions? Really? You're honestly stating that all those atheists and non-believers in your god are simply incapable of making moral descisions? I'm not sure that even the most fundamentalist of moral philosophers would agree to that.

felixmeister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
felixmeister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
felixmeister said...

Damn formatting errors

Correct. I'm one human among 7 billion. Why should anyone listen to my
opinions?


So all those without referencing an external source are just wandering around unable to make moral decisions? Really? You're honestly stating that all those atheists and non-believers in your god are simply incapable of making moral descisions? I'm not sure that even the most fundamentalist of moral philosophers would agree to that.



Because of the objectively observable & measurable effects of those
things and because the individuals are demonstrably worse off.


OK, so objectively measure "worse". Lay out your experiment, your
evidence, and what instrumentation you used to measure "worse"ness.


Hypothesis: If someones arm is removed they will be less able to perform actions normally done with 2 hands.
Test: You are to tie up shoes with laces, walk along a balance beam and then untie them. Your arm is cut off. You are then to tie up those shoes again, walk along a balance beam and untie them.
You will be observed by a panel and timed on length of time for each stage and number of falls off the balance beam.
The worse performance, by all reasonable standards is the slower one with more falls.


Right, you can't.

Right, I did. It's really not that hard.

You ASSUME what is good and bad and then extrapolate from that to find out whether a given
action increased or decreased good.


No, I determine what is beneficial or harmful and deduce from that whether a given action increased or
decreased good.
It's better than your position, where you ASSUME that a god exits, you ASSUME that his thoughts have been transcribed perfectly, you ASSUME that it is personally invested in this universe and you, you ASSUME that it's thoughts even slightly align with our limited perception and you ASSUME that it would have ethics that are even remotely related to our our experience.
Expand your mind, get out of your limited middle world thinking that by its very nature is incapable of conceptualising the very large, the very small, the very quick and the very slow.
These effects can be long ranging, effecting generations and civilisations far removed in time and
distance from the initial actions.


Are you really suggesting that harm is not bad?

On atheism, I don't see any reason to think that bad even exists. Prove me
wrong. Show it.


If bad doesn't exist, have someone cut off your arm. Is that bad or good for you?


The reduction of harm is inherent

Let's say Joe Atheist says the maximisation of harm is inherent. What is your
argument against him?


But Joe Atheist the straw man wouldn't. He would ground his morals at even the most base level in what he thinks is good to him. Joe Atheist the non-straw man though, would flesh out a set of ethics that promotes the most good and the least harm.


the only people who state otherwise are the nihilists, error theorists or
relativists


So? Maybe they know what atheism results in and you don't.


Well no. 1 I'm not arguing for a requirement for atheism, you are trying to argue for a need for a specific god. 2. 'Atheism' doesn't state this and doesn't result in a place where reduction of harm is irrelevent
Any system that doesn't take reduction of harm & maximisation of benifit as inherent ultimatly results in a place where anything can be justified.

felixmeister said...

As soon as you refuse to account for harm within your valuation you open the
way for the justification of almost any atrocity.


They wouldn't be atrocities if the goal of existence is the maximisation of
harm, now would they?
Hospitals would be atrocities in that case.
expand your mind, get outside your box, answer my questions.



Now you're just resorting to sophistry. This is exactly what I mean, if you don't aim to minimise harm and maximise well being then the torture, raping & killing of small children can be justified. If you do aim for these goals, then it cannot. In other words good is what is valued by the individual (on a conscious or unconscious level) and is beneficial to that individual and bad is what is not, when they are fully able to cogitate those effects. These


Actually no, you are asserting that an external absolute moral authority is required

Otherwise we end up in the morass we've seen above from you.

Where we value life and despise harm to others? What a terrible morass to be stuck in. You still haven't justified why an absolute moral authority is required to prevent us ending up in some morass nor have you adequately defined that morass.



I am simply showing that this is not the case.

You haven't shown that. You've shown the opposite - that YOU want to be the
moral authority.


No, I have never said that I am the moral authority. In fact I have stated the exact opposite that, not only am I not the moral authority, the morality of an action must be objectively determined from all of that action’s effects on ALL parties involved.